Science Babies FTW or, Why Chrissy Tiegen’s Critics Can Suck It

I swear, we hate no one in the world like we hate female celebrities. The amount of bile spewed at Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and now Chrissy Tiegen would, if properly directed towards Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney, solve nearly all our country’s moral crises.

What did model and actress Tiegen, who happens to be infertile and public about it, do? She chose to have a female embryo implanted in her uterus during an IVF cycle. People are fucking idiots, no thanks to the morning Mommy talk shows, and accused her of “designing” her baby and personally murdering all children available for adoption and being a dumb whore and all kinds of stupid things.

Is this a good idea?

You can find opinions across the spectrum.

Some people believe that using gender selection non-medically is the wrong use of medical and health care resources. Critics worry about the potential gender bias in selecting one sex over the other.

Others believe this is a personal decision that parents should be allowed to make.

Of course they don’t understand how human reproduction and IVF work. Doctors often perform tests on embryos prior to “transfer,” meaning placing them in the mother’s uterus. Those tests will tell parents if an embryo is male or female, among many other things, like if the embryo has certain conditions or genetic disorders that would make life impossible for the little critter.

We conceived Kick through IVF but didn’t do those pre-transfer tests, mostly because our insurance didn’t cover them and they’re thousands of dollars. If we had done the tests, and had known that we had both male and  female embryos, we would have had to choose which ones to transfer first. You have to pick if you have a certain number of embryos; Octomom notwithstanding, you can’t just fling everything you have at the uterine wall in the hopes that something quite literally sticks. Our doctor would have asked us what we wanted to do.

There’s nothing Mad Scientist-y about it; nobody’s splicing genes in an underground lab to create alien hybrids. I know it’s fun to think about that because it allows you to be a bitchy scold to women who can’t get pregnant and thus are going through something you can’t possibly understand. I know it’s fun to shudder about “designer babies” and imagine women, especially pretty and famous young women like Tiegen, as flighty creatures who are just all DOO DAH DOO DAH THINK I’LL HAVE A BLUE EYED ONE. I know it’s hard to take women seriously about their own reproductive choices, but I’m gonna have to ask you to put your shoulders into it and consider some things.

  1. You’re being an asshole. “But she’s a public figure!” I don’t care if she puts on swimsuits for money. I don’t care if she killed Kennedy. If you’re being a dick to her, you’re being a dick. You are responsible only for you.
  2. “Just adopt” is not only trivializing to people who don’t adopt for various reasons. It’s also trivializing and dismissive of those who DO choose to adopt, who work hard to go that route and aren’t “just” doing anything. Don’t use courageous and admirable adoptive parents just to denigrate someone else.
  3. Also what are you expecting people to say when you say, “Just adopt!” HOLY SHIT I FORGOT YOU CAN ADOPT KIDS I’LL JUST RUN DOWN TO THE STORE THEN AND GET ONE THANK YOU FOR THIS SECRET INFORMATION. Again, this is about respecting families, so do them the credit of assuming they’ve considered their options and are picking the best one for them. Assume women are rational and smart. I know it’s tough, but stretch those muscles.
  4. If you support women’s reproductive freedom then you support it, full stop. Even the Duggars. Even Octomom (God, remember that collective cable-news freakout? What a fucking waste of our time). If you support women making their own choices, then you don’t get to bitch about this stuff.

To her credit, Tiegen told everyone on her case to get off it and refused to let them make her all shy and apologetic about her baby.

Damn right.

A.

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